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Setting the Stage


The people of Kentucky had sympathy for both sides of the critical issues betweeen the North and South. Its location meant its citizens had contact with people from across the U.S., especially those traveling along the Ohio River. In the state there were 225,000 slaves, but there were also many people who actively supported the Underground Railroad.

During the years leading up to the Civil War, Kentucky had produced men like Henry Clay, the "Great Compromiser," and John Crittenden, author of the Crittenden Compromise. Both of them, along with many others, worked to keep their state and the country together, but that goal seemed to be slipping away as the 1860s began.

 

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